Exercise! - How much do you pay for your gym membership?

03-02-2007, 05:49 PM
NOT the YMCA. I know it's loads cheaper, but I'm not going there.

I'm looking into a membership with Spectrum Athletic Clubs, which is a regional gym (sort of, it's got locations here & in Los Angeles).

Right now it would be about $313 to join--$89 processing fee plus first & last month's dues of $139 each.

That $139 is for the whole family--me, Robert, & the three kids.

They've got a great kids' area that I am pretty sure is larger than the trailer we're living in right now. Girls love it. There's a huge indoor play/exercise area, a smaller "daycare" area, and an outdoor playground.

They've got a large class schedule, but honestly I wouldn't be going to classes anyway. They had a lot of cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, etc. There is also a women's-only area that has everything the main area has and a TV monitor of the kids' club. Last but not least (at least for my hubby) they have a pool.

Their locker rooms are "all-inclusive", meaning that they provide towels and toiletries of all sorts, even razors & deoderant. I'm pretty sure their locker room is better stocked than my bathroom. ;)

I really like the looks of the place, & we visited at the time of day I'd be going and it was pretty much dead. I'd have my pick of machines/weights.

But I am just unsure of the cost. I believe I can afford it, but I want to know if that's about standard for a commercial gym membership or if it's on the expensive side or what.


03-02-2007, 05:55 PM
My gym is $88 a month for my partner and I. This includes 2 hours each of personal training per month, locker service with towels, classes, free daycare, and spinning classes.

03-02-2007, 06:11 PM
I belong to the most expensive Y in the world (it's the only non-Curves gym in town). It's $43 a month for one person; $76 for two. If you want access to the saunas and whirlpools, you have to pay an extra $20 a month to use the high class changing rooms. I don't do that...too expensive. I really feel that the Y should be cheaper (and not introducing a class system via different changing rooms!).

03-02-2007, 06:22 PM
I belong to Ballys, which is considered to be a moderately priced gym. No towels, no frills, machines are older, maintenance is iffy, locker rooms are gross. There's a pool, sauna, and whirlpool that you couldn't pay me to use. I wouldn't take a shower there on a dare. But it's five minutes from home (10 if there's traffic), has loads of the kind of equipment I use (free weights and plate loaded machines), and the cardio machines I want are available when I'm there.

I originally signed up on a three year contract at $39/month. I'm past the three years and now pay renewal dues of $22/month. It's hard to beat that price, plus there really isn't any local competition besides a 'wellness' type gym run by a hospital - without a squat rack! :lol:

Gyms make their money off people who sign up and never use the facility so take your time and make sure the place is right for you. Finangle as many free weeks as you can so you can see if it's something you'll stick with.

Dumpy as my Ballys is, I have a real soft spot in my heart for it. I walked in the doors weighing 257 pounds and changed my life. It started out as such as terrifying place and now it's home. :)

03-02-2007, 06:30 PM
I belong to a Lifetime Fitness. It's $109 a month for 2 of us. We have a lot of kid programs, awesome locker room w/sauna, towels, etc. Over 250 cardio machines and lots of weights. Also basketball and racquetball courts, lap pool and regular pool. Lots of classes... We pay extra for a personal trainer right now.

We switched from a Y last fall. The Y was a lot cheaper but ours had no real access to trainers and was a kind of dump (one of my first days there I saw a cockroach in the bathroom). We knew we wanted more than that and I think we're getting our money's worth. We go multiple times every week for weights, cardio, and occasionally swimming. I was actually excited to join the gym.

Meg is right that you want to make sure you will GO. When we were at the Y I went only for weights, was in and out as fast as possible (I had a routine I could do in 20-25 min). Sure it was cheaper, but I didn't like it.

03-02-2007, 06:31 PM
My gym is about $55 for most individuals. I got a discounted student rate of $35 a month, until I started working in the childcare 3 mornings a week, and now my membership is free.

03-02-2007, 06:54 PM
I belong to Bally's (like Meg). I have a nationwide membership, my renewal fees are $8/month and I added on DH for $16/month so our total is $24 for DH and I.

I have Kaiser as my health insurance and they have discounted gym memberships where it is $50 to join (sometimes this fee is waived), then around $30/month for some really nice gyms, family rates were only a little higher when I checked. You might want to check with your health insurance to see if they offer any discounts like that. I thought about switching from Bally's but I'm a cheapo at heart and it is hard to walk away from such a cheap gym membership.

I also forgot, if you join the Self Challenge, you can get 2 free weeks at Gold's gym, if you are interested. Most gyms do tend to offer some free trial period, so I'd definitely recommend trying it out beforehand.

03-02-2007, 06:58 PM
Hmmm. We pay $75/month for 2 of us. We joined when they opened (or rather when the new owners took over) about 3 years ago and got the initiation/joining fee waived. We have access to lots of cardio and weight machines, as well as lots of free weights. The locker rooms have both been remodeled in the last year and are always clean, including the showers (towels provided). There is a steam sauna in the women's and a dry sauna in the men's. However, we do have to pay extra for a trainer, and for a rented locker ($7/month). If you want to use the racquetball courts and/or take classes (yoga, spinning, cardio, etc.) it's an additional $20/month. No pool. They do have child care, but I have no kids, so don't know the cost. It's the only non-Curves gym within a half hour drive of me. The only downside to me is that they're not open on Sundays.

03-02-2007, 09:33 PM
I pay $83 a month for two of us. That includes locker room with digilocks, communal and private showers, dry sauna in the locker room (the men's locker room has a TV in it, but not the women's), use of the two pools (one for laps, the other warm for folks with arthritis), steam room and two spas. There are lots of classes, cardio machines, free weights, weight machines, etc. You can get a free personal weight training program, but after that you have to pay the trainer. We paid $150 joining fee, I believe. For a bit extra, we could get use of the court facilities, but we're not into court sports.

03-02-2007, 09:46 PM
I was worried that I might have the most expensive gym membership around and it may be true but since you asked.

My gym has about 6 or 8 locations around the city (none near my home but two near my work). I get a "discounted" corporate rate and still pay $75 a month, just for me. No sign up fee.

Why I pay it is because it's about a 30 second walk from my work and the facilites are great. Everything is included, except personal training. All classes, equipment etc. The equipment is pretty modern, the place is spotless, there are tons of classes to choose from and the changerooms are great. Towels, dry sauna, wet sauna, hot tub, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, soap, razors, deodorant etc. etc.

It's not cheap but because of the proximity and amenities, I can and do actually go during the work day and I hate carrying around all the extras like towels etc.

I could probably find something comparable for about $50ish but I can't beat the location.

03-02-2007, 11:09 PM
wow. I live in a pretty remote coast town. The gym here is the ONLY gym for about 1-1/2 hour drive. The laws of supply & demand rule.

$50. month gets you cardio equipment which at least one of is usually available, a small free weights area, 1 each circut training equipment. There are classes, but fees are charged for each class you sign up for each time you go. They do have 3 trainers available, but they bill privately/seperately. Staff on hand can answer questions but I have found that they don't necessarily have the training or knowledge required for specifics.

No locker room, no shower, no sauna, jacuzzi, pool...... but there are small 'sweat towels' and the bathroom available for free! I live too far out of town to go before work cuz then I'd have to go home and shower before going back to town for work. The gym closes at 7pm on fridays, 5pm Sat & Sundays (I don't get off work til 4)...

It's a very clean gym, and the staff is wonderful and very friendly BUT, it was not good for my lifestyleand I could not justify the fee. Make sure you try it out before you commit to a contract.

Good Luck!!!

03-02-2007, 11:50 PM
I guess I will have to check out Gold's Gym, as it's the only other one nearby. I usually have about five hours between waking up & needing to start getting ready for work, & I plan to work out for an hour (which is actually realistic for me), so time is a huge issue for me. I can't drive to the other side of the city to go to a cheap gym. :) But $139 seems to be as steep as it sounded to me.

03-03-2007, 01:23 AM
If you work for a large company ask around - mine offers a deal on a local gym, California Family Fitness. I pay $100 for a year, I can go to any of 10 or 12 gyms owned by this company. There is pretty much always a class somewhere, two gyms are pretty close to me. One is a women's only gym - I prefer that for weight training....dunno why, I like to feel like the heavy lifter? Kinda hard to do that with a buncha guys. :lol: When I first started going I never took classes - at the moment I am really enjoying the extra push I get by working with an instructor. Plus my workouts get varied due to the different emphasis you get from a different instructor/equipment. Hmm...what did I come on here to say? Oh yeah...check with your insurance company or your employer...there might be just the deal for you. It is in their best interest for you to be healthy.

03-03-2007, 02:25 PM
I lucked out with my recent gym membership. I lost my membership to Golds Gym when I changed jobs. I found a local church that has a very nice rec center built onto it. It has a basketball court, game room, aerobic room for classes, lots of cardio and weight machines...all for only $10 a month!

I would assume if there are churches like that in your town, their fee would be rather cheap as well. When I cut out the things I rarely used anyway at other gyms (tanning, fancy locker rooms, saunas, etc) I end up only paying for what I'm using.

03-03-2007, 04:29 PM
I'm at Bally's. My mom and I.

I pay $17/month (premium, I think? Nationwide membership at any rate), 3 year contract, 3rd year free.

I went to a different Bally's a couple of years ago, and it wasn't the greatest, but I really like the one I go to. The staff is really nice and the equipment really isn't all that bad.

A guy my mom works with says that the one we go to is usally one of the firsts to get the new equipment. He's been a member for over 20 years and pays only $59/year!

03-03-2007, 04:52 PM
I pay (or my DF does for me - was my birthday pressie in September) €27 for one time a week and that's per month.

I love my gym, there are tons of great machines (no waiting), classes galore, weights and fitness equipment, it's nice and clean, there is a sauna as well :)

03-03-2007, 09:53 PM
Wow... America seems to have lots of cheap gyms! I'm jealous. Haha, not really because I do really like my gym. So far I've only been to two different ones:

When I lived in Germany I paid 60 (around US$80) a month for a gym that was half an hour away from my house... it was however 5 mins from my school, but I liked going in the evenings to spend time away from my host family (we really didn't get on). I paid extra for handtowel service but lockers, classes, showers and the sauna were included. Classes were excellent but there weren't many cardio machines at all and no TVs or music.

My gym in Australia is SO good. I pay the student rate of AUS$60 (US$46) a month. They have a massive cardio room, so there's never any wait, with a big wall of TVs! They also play music throughout. There is a cycle studio and two other rooms for classes. The class timetable is pretty good, I'm just getting a little bored with them cause I go so often, lol. There is also a good stretching/free weights area, a huge weights hall and a circut area.

03-03-2007, 11:02 PM
I actually just joined 24 Hour Fitness today because it was the best gym in the area, especially for the price. The only other real options were a gym that may or may not be on the verge of going bankrupt and the YMCA. My boyfriend and I paid $273 (including tax) up front for registration fees and initiation fees for me (he was my add-on person and his were free as a promotion because the gym JUST opened on Feb 22nd), as well as first and last months dues for both me and bf. Monthly rates are $29 a person. It might not be cheap, but we worked out the prices for our other options and 24 hour fitness was only about $7 more a month overall. We figured that for much better equipment and more machines, it was worth it.
The other gym only had maybe 15 cardio machines, whereas 24 Hour Fitness has TONS, more than I cared to count. 24 Hour Fitness also includes all classes with their membership dues. Personal training is extra, but seemed quite reasonable compared to what I'd heard of elsewhere.
Like I said though, we just signed up today, so I still don't know much about "real" gym life there. I'm thinking positively though considering it's a brand new location, so all of the equipment is brand new and state of the art.

03-04-2007, 01:19 PM
I do belong to the most expensive Y in the universe! ($43/month without access to saunas and stuff). It's nice to have my suspicions vindicated. :)

senorita: The gym I belonged to in Melbourne a couple of years ago was the most beautiful gym in the world. It was expensive, but going there was a visual treat--deep colors on the walls, thousands of cardio machines, a big pool you could see from the cardio mezzanine, and, best of all, a coffee/snack cafe in the lobby, so you could sit by the pool with an espresso at the end of a workout. They also had giant bowls of low-cal cereal bars that you could grab to munch on as you were leaving. <sighs dreamily> I loved that gym. It was worth the price.

03-04-2007, 08:38 PM
I think I'll go ahead with Spectrum, even though it's quite expensive. I just can't beat how close it is to my house, and my cousin had problems with Gold's Gym when she had a membership there. Plus, paying that much will ensure I go often enough to get my money's worth. :lol3: This place doesn't have a cafe or sell supplements like most other gyms I've seen (nor does it sell ice cream like the gym on base in Norfolk did!), something I truly appreciate.

03-04-2007, 09:08 PM
I pay $469/year for just me ($39) for a gym with no pool, no sauna, no fancy stuff. Very very small. I pay by the year so I could negotiate childcare down to $100/year for both kids. (Childcare is also only available 9-11am and 5-7 pm which kinda sucks)

Its the only game in town and I think it is very over priced, but its my only choice.

I could currently join a Ballys for $99/year (not including childcare) but they are a bit too far away.

03-05-2007, 11:58 AM
I belong to the most expensive Y in the world (it's the only non-Curves gym in town). It's $43 a month for one person; $76 for two. If you want access to the saunas and whirlpools, you have to pay an extra $20 a month to use the high class changing rooms. I don't do that...too expensive. I really feel that the Y should be cheaper (and not introducing a class system via different changing rooms!).

My Y is the same way. But it is the only gym in town that has early morning classes each weekday, and that is the most important thing to me in choosing a gym. I love aerobics classes, and I love working out before work. At the other gyms, which are lower-priced, there are early morning classes a maximum of 2-3 days/week. I figure it is worth paying more to get the type of workout I need/want. And I know that my dues go to support other Y services.

03-08-2007, 01:12 PM
I pay $30/month at Bally's. It is a no frills place, but they do keep the locker room clean and I'm not afraid to shower or use the sauna there. Heck, I even drink from the drinking fountains. And the cardio equipment that I want to use is generally available when I want to use it. The most important factor for me, though, was the location. It is 5 min. from my house; I can walk to it if I want. I knew from past gym experiences that a convenient location would be key to my using it. I would have paid any price they asked.

Nelie--how did you get a nationwide Bally's membership for only $8/month? That is incredible!